The following is a little written interview with super talented cartoonist Edith. You can check her out on Insta: @edithcartoonist.
1) When did you decide you wanted to become a cartoonist? Was there any influence from your father?
I don’t think I really wanted to be a cartoonist until after I’d graduated from art school. I’d thought I wanted to be an artist and then somewhere along the way realised my oil paintings of birds were actually quite crap, and that maybe I was better suited to drawing silly pictures of bad hair days. I suppose I’ve always been exposed to lots of cartoons because of my dad, so I was lucky that the idea of doing it as a job didn’t seem as weird as it might to other people – as well as the massive privilege of having a parent already in the industry.
2) I saw you went to Edinburgh college of art. I went to Edinburgh uni myself and had the best 4 years. The city is just magical. Did you enjoy your time in Edinburgh and did you gain inspiration from your time there?
I loved Edinburgh, it’s such a fantastic city. Obviously being at the art school was a great time to experiment and work out my strengths. I probably didn’t draw from the beauty of the city as much as I could have; in first year I took the bus to Leith to photograph the port, and ended up photographing some puddles instead and painting those. Dire stuff.
3) Winning the Cape/ Observer/ Comica graphic short story prize must have been a proud moment. Was that the moment you really believed you could make a living from making cartoons?
Yeah that was very exciting, I was so happy to win that! I don’t know if I thought I could make a living out of it at that point, as people were still LARGELY ignoring my emails, but it did make me think it was something I should keep trying.
4) What would you say a cartoonist’s role is in a new organisation, and how have you put your own spin on it?
I work at Tortoise media and I think my role is probably to bring a bit of levity, as obviously most news isn’t massively cheerful. I put my own spin on it by finding new and inventive ways to make the cartoons all about moi.
5) Humour is central to your comics. Yet, at times, your humour appears to be self-deprecating. How important is it to laugh at oneself?
I think it’s pretty important – I don’t think people would be very interested in a cartoon that was the cartoonist trying to find a way to subtly boast. Although actually I bet I’ve done that lol. I think it’s probably just a good idea to laugh at yourself because everyday embarrassments and cock-ups become especially mortifying if you think of yourself as a serious and refined sort of person.
6) Humour is also incredibly subjective and complex. Do you ever worry about the need to be consistently amusing?
I think the fact that it’s subjective is more of a help – there’s no definitive way to get it right. I’d say I worry most about becoming repetitive.
7) How long does it take to formulate a cartoon from conception to publication?
Usually I do them in a day, and some of the longer ones over a couple of days.
8) Your cartoons also often focus on experiences people can relate to. What’s your target audience? Is it the mainstream or more niche?
My audience is probably people my age, so millennials/gen-z. Obviously I’d like EVERYONE to get them, but I realise not everyone is going to associate with the experience of lobbing your coat in the corner of a dingy club because you can’t be bothered to wait in the queue for a cloakroom.
9) What’s your favourite cartoon that you’ve made?
I like the slightly more zany ones most of the time, so maybe ‘the life and times of a bottle of hand sanitiser’ and the one about the Teletubbies in lockdown.
10) Social media can be damaging to us at times. However, it can be useful as well. I’m interested how helpful instagram has been in promoting your work to a wider audience?
I guess it’s just an app that most of us spend a hideous amount of time glued to, so it’s a useful place to be. And people are typically generous about sharing things they’ve enjoyed, and instagram makes that easy to do (unless you’ve been shadowbanned – I am also aware that instagram can be evil to lots of people)
11) And finally, you brought out a fantastic calendar recently, which currently hangs on one of my bedroom walls. Do you have any other exciting projects on the horizon?
Oh thanks! I’m mainly just ploughing on with the cartoons, but hopefully some stickers later in the year. So you can put them on your laptop and watch them become increasingly gammy until you scratch them off a few months later.